Posts Tagged 'power'

Pentecost: The Breath of God

Pentecost: The Breath of God Sermon Audio Here

1 Cor. 12:3-13

I recently heard an advertisement for hyperbaric oxygen chamber treatment: sit in a pressurized tank and breathe oxygen. Studies show mixed results… but what about a SPIRITUAL hyperbaric experience?

What Difference Did Pentecost Make?

We Are “Christ-Crafted” ~ 1 Cor. 12:3-6

  • v3 truth is truth, but spiritual truth is from the Spirit about Christ
  • v4 The Spirit gives as HE chooses, not us
  • v5 Lots of ways to serve the Lord; not all the same
  • v6 working=the effect of God’s energizing action in us; our outcomes won’t all look the same, but they’ll be spiritual, and they’ll point to Jesus in us
You Are Carefully Crafted By God; Remember Your Worth!

We Are “Air-Powered” ~ 1 Cor. 12:7-11

  • v7 2 things: EVERYONE is gifted; EVERYONE benefits
  • v8 wisdom: knows just what to say;
    • knowledge: insight from the Spirit down to us (God’s viewpoint)
  • v9 faith: trusting faith (by context, more than just saving faith);
    • gifts of healings: isolated incidents (not “the power to heal”, but the healings themselves)
      NOTE: these gifts are not RESIDENT SUPERPOWERS; more like sunlight reflecting from a mirror; the SPIRIT is at work, and uses US to make that work available;
      CHARISMATA =”the presence of that which is given”
  • v10 miraculous: ENERGEMATA=”the presence of the power that is sent”; WE don’t do miracles; GOD does miracles, and sometimes uses people;
    • prophecy helps us understand: a prophet receives a specific message from the Lord and delivers it;
    • a miracle worker receives a specific ability to do a task from the Lord and does it;
    • distinguishing: God gives the insight if something is HIS or not; varieties of speech (like Pentecost),
    • the ability to understand them tied to the presence of the Spirit, not the person through whom the language happens
  • v11 The Spirit chooses; we don’t (this means the Spirit isn’t some impersonal “force”
You Are Powered By the Spirit; Remember Your Charge!

We Are “Fire-Welded” ~ 1 Cor. 12:12-13

  • v12 Trinitarian nod; cf. Gen 1:1,2; Deut 6:4 God is ONE COMMUNITY; we belong together to God
  • v13 our origins are different, our circumstances are different, but our connection and destination are the same: we are ONE in the Spirit
You Are Connected to Christ; Remember Your Identity!
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Epiphany: Upside-down Power

Epiphany: Upside-down Power Sermon Audio Here

BIBLEREFERENCE

We have different ways to describe “power”. Sometimes we mean force: the amount of energy needed to accomplish a task. Sometimes we mean flow: the transmission of energy from one point to another. Sometimes we mean influence: the ability to get someone to do something. We know how electrical power works (AC/DC); but what about God’s power?

Powerful Points to Ponder:

Our Ability Falls Short of God’s Glory ~ 1 Cor. 1:18-25

  • v18/19 reminder: God’s ways are NOT ours
  • v20/21 God’s choice: we can’t figure out God on our own on purpose!
  • v22/23 Jews can’t accept Messiah as Sacrifice (seen as Conqueror); Greeks can’t accept Christ’s Sacrifice because it means admitting that human wisdom is insufficient for salvation
  • v24/25 Christ’s power through submission to God’s plan; Christ’s wisdom through acceptance of God’s terms

Our Inability Shows God’s Grace ~ 1 Cor. 1:26-31

  • v26/27 who we are isn’t that important for God’s use
  • v28/29 God uses the uncomplicated so HE gets the glory
  • v30/31 our Inability just shows of HIS ability to make Himself known through us

Consider this: sand is opaque (you can’t see through it); when exposed to extreme heat, it reforms and becomes transparent. It’s got the same ingredients, but the internal change makes all the difference.

Micah 6:8 ~ He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.

Human power is the personal application of influence to control behavior; God’s power isn’t wielded, it’s yielded to. We don’t EXERCISE God’s power; we submit to it (obedience leads to God’s powerful presence in us).

Human wisdom is the learned beneficial application of knowledge; God’s wisdom isn’t learned, it’s received. We don’t WORK for God’s Wisdom; we accept it (as a gift).

The Ancient of Days Today

The Ancient of Days Today Sermon Audio Here


The Ancient of Digital Days | by greenwise art

Daniel 7:9-14

Today is Christ The King Sunday; but WHY? CtK Sunday was formed because secular governments try to assert authority over the Church.

Why Look to the Ancient of Days for Guidance Today?

He is The Source of Sovereignty
Daniel 7:9-14

  • v9 look @ attributes: white=pure wisdom; fire=strong authority
  • v10/12 God has the right to judge, and He will do so
  • v13/14 Jews would interpret this as a sign of Israel’s supremacy; God will keep the King forever;
  • in other words, the Ancient of Days knows what He is doing by virtue of His wisdom and authority

He is the Answer for Authority
John 18:33-37

  • v33 Pilate asks a GOOD question: who do you rule, Jesus?
  • v34/35 next good question: what have you done, Jesus?
  • v36 Jesus’ kingdom NOT of this world; what is our response?
  • v37 everyone on side of truth listens to Jesus; what side are you on?

Pope Pius the Eleventh said that if Jesus is actually LORD, then all of our lives must be affected:

  • He must reign in our minds – we submit to His word
  • He must reign in our wills – we obey His word
  • He must reign in our hearts – we love God above all else
  • He must reign in our bodies – we live as instruments of justice for God

Highlights from Hebrews: The Power of the Blood

Highlights from Hebrews: The Power of the Blood Sermon Audio Here


Hebrews 9:11-14

Do you want to be free from sin’s weight? Do you want to conquer evil? Do you want to win the struggle you fight inside everyday? Do you want to know HOW to do these things? Look at the Cross!

The Blood Has Power Because

It Is Perfect From The Start

  • v11 more perfect= a completed sign; miracle made manifest NOT by humanity

It Is Parity For Both God And Humanity

  • v12 by his own blood; the perfect balance of holy God and frail humanity; cf. Rom. 6:23 wage is paid for work; Jesus work was SINLESS, enabling Him to be our priest AND sacrifice

It Points To God’s Plan

  • v13 blood+ashes=callback to old sacrificial system (num.19); only works symbolically

It Is Potent Enough For ALL

  • v14 Jesus’ sacrifice NOT outwardly symbolic, but inwardly effective! The Blood shall NEVER lose its POWER!
  • That is why Communion isn’t a re-sacrifice of Christ, but a remembrance of what He has already done.

When we sin, we often focus on the sin itself; our inability to get it right. Some of us do this often, and some not so much. But we are ALL lost because of our sin. When we focus on the sin itself, we are trapped by it; but when we focus on the BLOOD that covers our sin, we are reminded that Jesus has perfectly paid our penalty!

Politics and Power

Politics and Power Sermon Audio Here

cruise ship in rough seas
Ecclesiastes 8:1-9

“A little boy wanted $100.00 very badly. He prayed for two weeks but nothing happened. Then he decided to write a letter to God requesting $100.00. When the postal authorities received the letter to GOD, U.S.A., they decided to send it to the President. The President was so impressed, touched, and amused that he instructed his secretary to send the boy $50.00. The President thought this would appear to be a lot of money to the little boy. The little boy was delighted with the $50.00 and immediately wrote a thank you note to God that read, ‘Dear God, Thank you very much for sending me the money. However, I noticed that for some reason you had to send it through Washington, D.C., and, as usual, those devil’s took half of it.'” – from Politics And Religion May Not Mix But Government And Biblical Faith Must! By Michael Milton

How Do We Respond to Political Power?

Live Carefully
Ecclesiastes 8:1-5 written from the king’s viewpoint

  • v1 Listen to the wise
  • v2 obey because of your oath
  • v3 be careful of what you support
  • v4 be careful of what you criticize
  • v5 be aware of your timing (cf. 2 Sam.12:1, 5, 7, 13)

Live Purposefully
Ecclesiastes 8:6-9 written from wisdom’s viewpoint

  • v6 proper time, even in misery – don’t make hasty choices
  • v7/8 powerlessness: ignoring it is foolishness
  • v9 use of power can go bad quickly – be careful!

Live Well
1 Peter 2:13-17 written from subject’s viewpoint

  • v13 for the Lord’s sake (cf Phil 2:5-7)
  • v14 divine purpose of government: lift good & down evil
  • v15 “doing good” how does that silence the foolish? Compare old Greek limited gods with Lord ALL-mighty
  • v16 live free, but not wild
  • v17 difference between love (keep on agape-loving),
    fear (both reverence and dread – serious respect),
    and honor (consider the worth)

We live BY God’s Kingdom principles while we live IN the world.

I Can’t Get No…

I Can’t Get No… Sermon Audio Here

Ecclesiastes 5:8-16

I Can’t Get No Satisfaction, Rolling Stone’s Magazine #2 Song of all time was considered very controversial when it came out in 1965. It was considered an attack on the status quo. Which reminds me…

Because Life Is Temporary We Can’t Get…

Satisfaction from Power
vs8-9 power as a distraction from the task

  • people in positions of power seek even MORE power, to the detriment of all

Satisfaction from Money
vs10-14 money is transactional, not an end to itself

  • Rockefeller: how much $ is enough? “just a little bit more”

Satisfaction from Savings
vs15-16 what are we saving FOR?

  • hard work to save for the future – only will go so far

Lasting Satisfaction without the Lord
1 Tim. 6:6-12 God transcends the temporary

  • v6 godliness WITH contentment
  • v9/10 eager for money=meeting your own needs=idolatry
  • v11 pursue=IMPERATIVE FOLLOW (not chase to catch, but follow to stay on the right path)
  • v12 “take hold” the state of holding onto (bird, landing on log floating down river)

Our ultimate satisfaction is only found in maintaining our connection to Christ.


Pastor Ed Backell

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